Coachella, Fontana, Ontario, Riverside

Volunteers bring their pets to boost patient spirits

Furry four-legged friends are warming up patients at our Fontana and Riverside Medical Centers.

Volunteers who own dogs specifically trained to work in a hospital setting visit with patients, providing them with a moment away from their condition.  Volunteer dogs Harvey, Brady, and Unique (pictured at left) enjoy their hospital visits as much as the patients.

Sharon Perry, assistant director of Volunteer Services at our Riverside Medical Center, says the visiting dogs help members feel more at home. “A lot of them have animals of their own and they really miss them. To have a dog come in, it helps remind them of their pets.”

Demetrius Henson brings his 4-year-old pit bull, Unique, to the hospital about once a week. He says people are surprised to see a pit bull but are usually won over. “She’s so calm around everyone that she just melts them away,” he says.

If you and your dog would like to volunteer at our medical centers, contact our Volunteer Services Department. Volunteer dogs must receive certified training as a therapy dog from organizations such as the Delta Society* and Therapy Dogs International*. Volunteers must also go through background checks and health screenings like other volunteers, and must be committed to volunteering for at least four hours a week.

For more information, call 909-427-7150 in Fontana and 951-353-3613 in Riverside. And learn more about how pets can help keep you healthy.

*Kaiser Permanente is not responsible for the content or policies of external Internet sites.

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Treatment for patients with advanced skin and kidney cancers

Members with advanced cancers should feel confident knowing that they can receive high quality care close to home. The advanced Biochemotherapy Program at our Riverside Medical Center has been providing treatment for more than 10 years to patients with advanced cancer.

The expertise of Fawaz Gailani, MD, an oncologist/hematologist and director of the program, and his team has made the Riverside program one of the busiest in the country in providing biochemotherapy treatment. Kaiser Permanente members in California and Hawaii with advanced skin and kidney cancers are often referred to Dr. Gailani. “I don’t think there’s a day when we’re not busy,” he says.

Biochemotherapy involves biologicals, substances normally produced by the body to help the immune system control cancer cells and fight infections. In this treatment, they are manufactured in a high dose and then given to the patient, sometimes combined with other chemicals used to fight cancer.

Because biologicals are related to the immune system, the treatment can have a higher rate of success in cancers involving the immune system, such as skin and kidney cancers. There are side effects to biochemotheraphy, which is why a specialized team works to manage treatment and monitor any side effects.

Find additional information about cancer.

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